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Reloading Info for 174 gr Bullet

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gunner69 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 09 2020 at 6:36pm
I will be reloading for a Jungle Carbine.  I have been given a sack of mixed brass once fired cases.  I plan on full length sizing these cases and loading 174 gr or 180 gr Soft Point Bullets.   Not sure what powder to use.   I will be using the Battle Sights with the ladder option.   Probable range will be under 100 yards.   

After the initial firing in my Jungle Carbine I will switch to a set of Lee Neck Size Only dies.  This should help keep the cases in good shape for multiple use, and prevent case seperation.

I read on a Canadian Forum that some people put an "O" Ring on their ammo to help head space the round?   Would it be of benefit for me to add an "O" Ring and if Yes what size "O" Ring.

I am thinking that my neck sizing only I won't need the "O" Ring idea.

P.S.  If you own a Jungle Carbine and have an accurate load for either the 174 or 180 grain bullet you are willing to share thanks much.
Jack Lalley
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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 3:55am
An O-ring can help on the first firing after FL sizing to minimize stretching of the case web (sides of the case just forward of the case head).   The O-ring keeps the case head in contact with the bolt head.  This first firing should blow the shoulder forward so that subsequent loadings are headspaced on the shoulder.  

I’ve never tried O rings on the cases, none of my No. 4 rifles have large headspace.  I typically get 50 reloads on my brass, FL sizing about every 10 reloads just enough to bump the shoulder back a few thousandths. 


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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 7:41am
britrifles.  Can you explain in detail how you are managing 50 reloads out of your brass please? The barrel on my Long Branch is a New Old Stock item that was never installed and I specifically used brand new Canadian brass to look at case expansion and neck stretch, etc,etc. After reloading a total of 5 times. I ended up with 21 cases separating  out of 100. I then used 50 brand new Hornady cases.  After a total of five reloading sessions I ended up with 12 case separations out of 50 cases used. I purposely kept all the cases neck sized only for added measurement. I then took one 20 round box of once fired,full length resized Norma cases and went to work on those.  Full length resizing only after every firing. It was during the sixth firing session I had the beginnings of case separation on two cases and one case totally separated. I have tried the O ring trick, I have tried neck sizing only,and I have full length resized only. I cannot get more then 5-7 reloads without a case failure.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 9:38am
Goosic, it might be the brass I’m using, mostly Canadian Mk 7 service cases which tend to be a bit heavier in construction than most commercial cases.  I’ve reloaded RP cases at least 15 times now with no case head cracking, but my routine loads are with military DI and DAC cases which last about 50 reloads.  

Headspace on my rifles are just over minimum (0.064) and the military case rims are 0.062 - 0.064).  Also, I tend not to load to, or near, maximum.  I believe these are the major factors along with using a neck sizing collet die. 

If you remove the extractor and insert a GO gage, you can get an idea how much over minimum headspace you have by pushing/pulling the bolt forward/aft.  The Long Branch Mk 1/2 I just refinished, there is no perceivable movement of the bolt when closed on the GO gage.  Without the gage in the chamber, the bolt should move fore/aft a bit.







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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 9:55am
Welcome from Phoenix Arizona gunner69.
If you do neck size,remember that you will need to full length resize at some point in time.  I can share with you my particular accurate handload as can every handloaded here. That being said however. Find a powder and primer that suits your needs, as well as the bullets. Graf and Sons does offer a .312 diameter 174grn BTHP that works exceptionally well in a worn Enfield barrel. Start with the minimum charge weight and seat the bullet as per the manual.  
Varget and IMR4064 powder has the same burn rate and is used for 174/180grn bullets. 150grn bullets fair well with IMR3031.  If your wallet has extra cash in it, Norma 202 powder has the same burn rate as the Varget and IMR4064 and as an added bonus was made specifically with the 308 Winchester round in mind.
(For reference purposes only)
My accuracy handload for the Enfield:
174grn .312 BTHP GRAF bullet
40.0grns Norma powder
WLRM primer 
OAL 3.050"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 10:20am
My Canadian cases are made to military specs as per their listing.  They have a uniform rim thickness that averages 0.0625" I use the minimum charge weight of 40.0grns of Norma powder as per the Norma manual.  I set aside X amount of brass for my LB and have neck sized only. I have no discernible issues with the cases after firing until about the fifth reload when I start getting separated cases. The following picture shows two cases from the same batch. The fired case in appearance looks no different then the reloaded case. These two cases are on their respective fifth reload. The loaded round is from a batch of fifty where I had nine separated cases. Headspace is not the issue here. I have used Winchester, Remington, Norma, Herters,PPU,and this new Canadian stuff. If I make it past seven reloads with all I have listed, I feel extremely fortunate. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gunner69 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 11:15am
So what is your source of the Canadian .303 Brass?  Sounds like I can forget the "O" Ring idea, eh?  I have IMR 4064 and H4895 on hand.   Who shoots the No.5 Jungle Carbine here?
Jack Lalley
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 4:10pm
Military brass doesn’t typically have the groove right above the rim. It also tends to be a bit thicker in the web area.  Brass composition may also be different.  The brass I am reloading is 1943 and 1944 Defence Industries (DI) brass.  Also 1956 Dominion Arsenal (DAC).  I had one box (48 rounds) of 1958 DA brass that lasted two reloads, they all cracked at web.  

I’m not aware of any Canadian made commercial .303 brass that was manufactured to the exact same specification as the Mk 7 Service ammunition.  

Might be an illusion, but the case on the left looks like the brass is strained about 1/2 inch above the head. 

You said headspace is not the issue, does that refer to your specific rifle, or do you think headspace plays no role in case head cracking?








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 5:21pm
Headspace is not the causality of the case separations. The cases do not show any issues until I get approximately 5-7 reloads down the line. My Lake City 7.62x51 brass starts to separate after 7 reloading sessions. 
The line you are referring to is from the sizing die. It was not cleaned before I installed it and left that mark. The separation typically happens 3/8" above that line. I have no cause for concern here for I am confident everything I am doing reloading wise is safe. The added knowledge of knowing the condition of this barrel,headspacing, and the fact that the Enfield rifles were not designed with the intent for it to be reloaded for does not cause any alarms as well.
I am just genuinely impressed with the 50 reloads you achieve and wanted to know if you could be kind enough to give me/us a little insight as to the secret to your success...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 6:05pm
I think headspace has much to do with it.  I may be wrong, but it goes to reason that the less the brass has to stretch to contact the bolt head the better.  James Sweet, an avid LE target shooter, Queens Prize winner, author of “Competitive Rifle Shooting” advocated to maintain headspace to 0.064 to 0.067 and measuring cartridge case rims discarding those that are thin.  

If your rifle is headspaced at 0.064, then it must be something else.  Perhaps is is down to the brass I’m using.  I just recently started using PPU, at least 5 reloads on it so far.  

No reason to think you have anything wrong in your rifle or loads.  

No secrets at all, I explained why I think I’m able to get that many reloads.  Most of these were shot in my Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/3 with BSA barrel.  It does have a long chamber (head to shoulder), but I don’t think that is a factor in case life.  

I don’t think I’ve had any case head cracking in my 1959, 1960 and 1962 Dominion Arsenal 7.62 NATO brass fired in my No.4 DCRA conversion.  I’m sure some of that brass had at least 25 reloads, and probably more.   I usually get about 30 reloads of .30-06 in my M1 reloads before the necks split.  

I keep all brass separated to each rifle, I do not FL size for bolt rifles, the chamber lengths in my four .303 No. 4 rifles are all different.  I only FL size when absolutely necessary, and even then, just bump the shoulder back a few thousands.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 6:36pm
With a .064 go gauge installed and the extractor claw removed, I can get a .001" feeler gauge slipped between the bolt face and the gauge with slight resistance.  All my cases average out to 0.0625" plus or minus .0005". This is the Long Branch.  The faux No4MkI* T rifle is tighter with the five groove BSA N.O.S. barrel. I have separated my brass between the two,keeping specific brass to a specific rifle and regardless of rifle used my average reload until case separations occur is between 5 to 7,no more,no less...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2020 at 7:29pm
A mystery then, or just a difference in the brass?  Don’t know...will be interesting to see how many reloads I get from the PPU brass.  I started with new cases for my 1941 0L Long Branch Mk 1/2, I will track the actual number of reloads and let you know the results.  The range is opening back up and I’m itching to shoot this rifle.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2020 at 4:14am
Britrifles; if you were getting 15 reloads out of Remington brass; I would think that your chamber is reasonably tight compared to my NoMk1/2. I stopped using Remington because I'd start to see the "ring of death" and occasional seperation around about 5 reloads. PPU is better, but sure what the maximum is yet. I mixed up the brass when full length sizing to suit all the rifles.
Do you think the the chamber diameter may play more of a part than chamber length?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2020 at 4:47am
Yes, chamber diameter probably does play a role as the case head cannot expand radially right above the head.  However, a circumferential crack indicates longitudinal strain is excessive.  

In a pressurized cylinder, radial strain is two times higher than longitudinal strain.  As the chamber pressure builds, the case first radially expands to grip the chamber walls.  As pressure further increases, the case will expand longitudinally. The area just in front of the rim where the case can’t radially expand to fill the chamber (Restrained by the head) will elongate.  You often find that about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the rim, the case has expanded larger in diameter than at the rim).  The chamber is conical while a new case has a small section that is constant diameter just above the rim.

The result is a small section of case web will plastically strain lengthwise until it contacts the bolt head.  This thins the web area.  Higher pressures make this worse as the bolt compresses and the action elongates (elastically of course).  Excessive headspace, and the case can rupture on the first firing.  This is why there is a maximum headspace specified.  The military did not have to worry about reloading, as long as the brass held for one firing and did not rupture.  You won’t get many reloads with headspace set to 0.074 field length.  

Someone made a cartoon video of this on another forum, very useful explanation.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2020 at 6:12am
I have a No5 and use H4895 (36 grs) with 180 gr Sierra ProHunters and have no problem keeping shots at the range in a 6" bull @ 100 yds. Plenty good for the type of deer hunting I do. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2020 at 6:54am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:


The result is a small section of case web will plastically strain lengthwise until it contacts the bolt head.  This thins the web area.  Higher pressures make this worse as the bolt compresses and the action elongates (elastically of course).  Excessive headspace, and the case can rupture on the first firing.  This is why there is a maximum headspace specified.  The military did not have to worry about reloading, as long as the brass held for one firing and did not rupture.  You won’t get many reloads with headspace set to 0.074 field length.  

Someone made a cartoon video of this on another forum, very useful explanation.  




The critical dimension is not really headspace at all - it is Head clearance and case rim thickness.

This is particularly noticeable when using thin-rimmed cases from Win and Rem, when compared to using 'quality' cases such as Prvi Partisan.

If you have a 74 thou 'headspace' using PP cases with (say) 62 thou rims, then change over to Win with 55 thou rims you have effectively increased your head clearance by another 7 thou to 19 thou (meaning the case 'web' now has to stretch 19 thou !

Because of the very thin case walls in the Win / Rem / SAMMI cases it is even thinner in the very area that is having to stretch.

look at the differences in case / rim dimensions :







The guy's name was / is Parashooter.

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